Skip to main content
12:30 pm
from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over three decades the shin part by
12:31 pm
american petroleum institute. thanks to president obama for the confidence, like an old soldier. >> so said david petraeus 15 months ago, september 2011, when he was sworn in as director of the central intelligence agency, petraeus was nominated by president obama replacing outgoing cia director leon panetta. now head of the department of defense. but petraeus suddenly resigned one week ago in petraeus'
12:32 pm
own words, a quote unquote extramarital affair. the woman in question, paula broadwell who is also married and co-wrote a 400-page biography of general petraeus last year when petraeus was still the top commander in afghanistan. >> it is a portrait of modern warfare. and i tried to show in the back how his ideas are playing out on the ground through the poor traits of three battalion commanders. >> petraeus still has a stellar reputation. a four-star general, with a 37- year military career. he was chosen by president george w. bush to oversee the surge strategy in iraq in 2007. he was sent by president obama to be the top commander in afghanistan, heading isaf, the international security assistance force. so how did this affair come to light? when this woman, jill kelley, a married tampa bay socialite, complained to the fbi that she
12:33 pm
was receiving harassing e-mails from an anonymous sender. she registered the complaint this past summer. the fbi investigated and in the process discovered the sender was paula broadwell. and that also broadwell had an affair with petraeus. the e-mails to kelley stemmed from broadwell's apparent jealousy of kelley's relationship with petraeus. there is no evidence that kelley had an affair with petraeus. the kelley family acknowledged that they were friendly with the petraeus family. by late october, under questioning from the fbi, both petraeus and broadwell had admitted to the affair. on november 6th, election day, the fbi notified the director of national intelligence, james clapper, of the affair. clapper advised petraeus to step down, and within days,
12:34 pm
petraeus did. question, is there more to this affair than meets the eye? pat buchanan. >> i don't think there's a great deal more than what we already know, john. a lot of people are attacking the fbi for investigating those harassing e-mails running to the source but once the fbi did and they found out, a, that the cia director was having an illicit affair with this woman sending e-mails and that it was david petraeus, i think they had to follow up. they probably got the approval of mauler, the head of the fbi, to follow up. and when they did they're looking at documents that ms. broadwell has, and i think it really is a legitimate thing to follow up on for these reasons. petraeus, you had a potential scandal there that would blow him up and blow him out of his career, which it did. secondly, he's a potential target of blackmail if he's having an illicit afair. third, there's the potential that you're compromising security. fourth, with due regard to the general who has a magnificent sterling record, this was a juvenile act and an act of --
12:35 pm
really that unrealism and follow letha is hard to -- follow letha is -- folly that is hard to believe, running along the river with his girlfriend, all the rest of it. as he said in his resignation letter, his performance and his behavior was inconsistent with the organization that he led. >> that's far from isolated, pat, you know that. franklin roosevelt had a mistress. >> well, sure, but look what happened to -- john edwards was blown up. gary hart was blown up. bill clinton was almost blown out of the presidency. anybody that doesn't know this is going to be the consequence of what happens to you if you get involved in this, and you're running the cia is preposterous. >> eleanor. >> he's not the first powerful man to do something fallish when it comes to an extramarital affair, and he won't be the last. but he is, or was, head of the cia, and that could make him a potential target for blackmail. when you look into this, there's not much more here, i
12:36 pm
don't believe. there's no evidence of a breach in national security. the fbi apparently acted by the book. you don't tip off the white house when you're engaging in a potentially criminal investigation. the agent in florida who then worried that the investigation was being stalled and went to a republican congressman who went to eric cantor, he has an illustrious record. he helped bring down the millennium plot. you can't blame him, either, for his apparent concern that this was not being studied appear prop it i can't tellly. so then the story got out, and i think general petraeus has acted honorably in resigning. i think he is going to do fine. he is going to get a book contract. he apparently wants to be president of princeton. he will have a year of probably giving speeches, making a lot of money. i don't feel sorry for him. >> if he wrote a book with the
12:37 pm
lady who wrote about him, paula broadwell, all in the education of david petraeus. he cooperated practically on the entire book. now he's going to write another book? >> he can write one about himself. he's not the author of this. this is somebody writing about him. >> this is his -- >> that's what happens when you screw up. you get all these offers. that's the way america works, apparently. >> the book is very favorable to -- >> one of the reviews said, it's not written by a reporter, it's written by an accolite. obviously she thinks very highly of him. >> is there a dark side to petraeus? i don't see it. >> but he can't -- yeah, but he can't continue -- anyway was in charge of afghanistan command, baghdad operations, leader of central command, cia director, leader of the insurgency doctrine, one of the most 100 -- >> he can't continue tin job
12:38 pm
that he has with a different set of rules for himself and everybody else who works for him. he knew that. he resigned. the president accepted the resignation, end of story. >> you said is there more to this. we cannot talk about this affair without talking about libya and benghazi. all of this was going on. he knew the fbi was investigating him for this affair while he was talking to congress about what happened on september 11th in benghazi, and during the initial report to congress in early september, he told them he felt it was a spontaneous attack, not a result of terrorism, and that this had nothing to do with al- qaida. he didn't mention that at all. now he knew they were investigating him for an afair. so when you say is ere more to this, does it raise the question about whether there's a possible connection between what he said to congress and what he knew the fbi was investigating him for. >> did they try to shut him down in his testimony to congress? >> did he go the party line? is. >> that is a legitimate question. the man who would be doing that
12:39 pm
logically is james clapper. who is james clapper? >> the national defense intelligence -- >> d & i. >> clapper didn't want him to say anything about the benghazi rollout. why? because it's so damaging. >> it's damaging to the press den see, and we're talking two months before the election. >> john, the question -- >> this is an ex 10 you situation of that. >> no, john, the question susan is raising is a very, very important one. did david petraeus go up to capitol hill and -- in other words, doctor the cia report which said it was maybe al- qaeda in benghazi, and did petraeus then mislead the congress and go along with the program that this was a -- basically a spontaneous thing that happened, and did he do it because they were holding a hammer over him. >> it was far simpler than. that petraeus wanted to protect the cia from a rap, and that's why he did what he did.
12:40 pm
>> john, can i ask a question? we're going learn a ton more because there's all these crazy con spear toral questions swirling around capitol hill, especially from republicans, that seem obvious. we know a lot of fact now, and there's not a lot of mystery here. there's really not a lot of suspicion -- >> what are these wicked republicans doing? >> look, we had from 1968 to 1979 five ambassadors killed in the line of duty. do er headlines and investigations into screw-ups? i don't. we only -- after the 1979 hostage crisis in iran, did we begin to say, oh my god, it's a challenge to american honor and dignity if a diplomat gets hurt or killed. and we've had no ambassadors killed since then. now a guy dies, which is terrible. it's not a scandal. it's a brave man caught in a
12:41 pm
bad situation, and i don't believe -- >> but you are overlooking important things. >> let eleanor in. >> there are some legitimate questions, and thomas pickering, a reagan appointee diplomat. >> he's investigating. >> is heading an investigation. there will be a report in december. even the most partisan people say there's no connection between benghazi and sex. you're saying that petraeus is having this affair to cover up benghazi? i mean, the fantasies that are evolving are totally insane. >> let's get back to benghazi. we now learn that the ambassador and the folks in benghazi were begging for help, there were terrorist attack, they blew a 12-foot hole in the wall in the compound, they were sending memos saying we need more protection, we need more help, and none was forthcoming. that's number one. the second thing that makes it an issue, why was no help sent along that night when these guys were under attack seven and a half hours they were
12:42 pm
under attack? these are valid questions. afterwards they go out and they're talking about this protest that got out of control which is a total fabrication. there was no protest. >> but -- >> there was. >> the attackers were telling passersby at the time that they were doing it in protest on the film. more over, all the intelligence to this day suggests that it was not premeditated and preplanned but opportunistic. >> question. >> it's got to be investigated. >> different line of questioning here. try this out object susan. do you think that -- this is more than a petraeus lapse of judgment, his relationship with paula broadwell? do you think it was more than a lapse in judgment? >> i think it was an absolutely lapse in judgment, but do you mean more than that beyond that, is the fbi holding something over his head? >> first of all, is the back completely reliable? >> well, you know, she
12:43 pm
certainly had tremendous access to, as we've learned, she's got files on her computer with classified information. she clearly had, as she has been quoted as saying, really excellent access to everything going on in his life. so in that sense, you're probably getting a lot of details you would they ever get for someone who had less access. i think the question is, is the back based. clearly she has a relationship with him. is it a book where you are really going to see two sides of petraeus, or is it just a biography, and that's what it is. >> sat career killer for him this whole deal? >> was it a career killer for clinton when he was nearly impeached for monica lewinsky? >> no. >> there you go. >> any office in the united states, running for senate or president, that's out. president of princeton, no problem. >> he's a layman today. >> john, let him run for something and see, but issue tw
12:44 pm
republicans fry rice. >> we will do whatever's necessary to block the nomination that's within our power as far as susan rice is concerned. >> i don't trust her. and the reason i don't trust her is because i think she knew better, and if she didn't know better, she shouldn't be the voice of america. >> key republican senators are trying to block susan race from becoming secretary of state. ms. rice is currently the permanent representative to the united nations for the u.s. she has not yet been officially nominated for the state department job to replace hillary clinton who intends to resign probably. rice is rumored to be underactive and positive consideration. but republicans and some democrats have been angry with ms. rice for saying that the attack in benghazi that left four americans dead was spontaneous and not preplanned. >> what our assessment is as of
12:45 pm
the present is, in fact, it began spontaneously in benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy, sparked by this hateful video. we do not have information at present that leads to us conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned. >> ms. rice made these comments five days after intelligence reports were reporting otherwise. be that as it may, at his press conference on wednesday of this week, president obama voiced outrage with senators mccain and graham. >> when they go after the u.n. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me. >> mccain fired back at obama. >> if the president thinks that we are picking on people, he really does not have any idea
12:46 pm
of how serious this issue is. >> so what do senators mccain and graham want? get this. a watergate style select committee to investigate admini the benghazi attack. >> question. under the rules of the senate it only takes one senator to put a hold on a presidential nomination. so how can president obama get around this? eleanor clift. >> he doesn't need to get around anything. if he wants to nominate susan rice, he is going to do it up- front and he is going to fight for her. and lindsey graham and john mccain are a committee of two in wanting a select committee to investigate watergate style benghazi. i don't even think most republicans have the appetite for. that secondly, john mccain just did an enormous favor for susan rice because he just boosted her chances that she is likely to be nominated because the president doesn't want to look like he's walking away from a fate. this is a fight that he can win, should win, early in his
12:47 pm
second term. he can't allow these two war hawks on the hill to roll him. so it's tough to get a nomination through, but you've got an invigorated party with two more seats. if they want to filibuster her nomination the president can make a big issue of that and the republicans aren't going to look like a winner going after a woman what had nothing to do with the benghazi attack. >> susan rice can answer this on sheefer's program, "face the nation," and the question is do you think that she got her talking points for that program from the white house? >> she got the same talking points as the administration was giving to the house republicans. >> through others. >> well, i think it was an inter-agency process that created a set of talking points which she faithfully put forth
12:48 pm
on that program, and by the way, she was not wrong. the intelligence to this day says it was not premeditated. the question -- the other question was, was it a terrorist attack, and she didn't say that it wasn't. she didn't rule that out but she said -- she gave the best -- again, a faithful representation of would the talking points were at that time. there is no scandal here. >> she gave her sense -- her spin, the white house spin. the obama spin probably started there at that level. it is said now, for the unrolling of events in benghazi that involved four americans getting killed. >> this was five days after the events. they had minimal amounts of intelligence. they were not allowed to put in things that they hadn't already nailed down. this was what they were prepared to put out five days later. it changed a number of times repeatedly after that. but at the moment, she did nothing wrong. >> that is nonsense. look, these cia guys were in a firefight that night seven and
12:49 pm
a half hours. two of their guys, the seals with cia got killed. they came out, reported back. you had real-time intelligence. the cia, according to petraeus on friday, said he had in his talking points that this may have been an al-qaeda operation. that's taken out. carney and then petraeus and then rice repeatedly and the president say it came out of some spontaneous protest. there was no spontaneous protest. there was a terrorist attack. >> do you think that this is, in addition to what's been said here, do you agree with that, and secondly, do you think it was an effort at a top level to protect the cia? >> well, what you are seeing now on capitol hill that relates to all of what you are asking is that republicans are trying to buck this sort of trend, attitudal trend that you are echoing, this was nothing, this was nothing, so that's why mccain and lindsey graham, and a woman, so not just those two
12:50 pm
parties. there others. i'm on the hill every day. i will tell you there are republicans that don't have a vote. it's not just three people who say, if you don't have one special group investigating this, special committee, there's no way to get to the bottom of why four people were killed and why we did nothing to protect them. and now we're trying to make it look like, oh, we're just picking on susan rice. she went on many different talk shows and said something that was absolutely patently false. now she wants to be secretary -- >> she was scripted and sent out on five shows to put out a phony, false line that when you look back and know what they knew, the 12 hours later, it was utterly false, john. who gave her the -- >> do you think they're going to get that special committee similar to watergate? >> the democrats control the senate. >> the democrats control the senate. the defense department put out a timeline. petraeus has said there wasn't enough time to get anybody there to help the people.
12:51 pm
>> what about that? can that stop it dead? >> there will be a report -- >> the democratic party controls the senate. i don't think you will get a select committee. but there's a lot more -- let me tell you, if they nominate her this will be the bloodiest battle since robert leffingwell, john, in that movie. >> john tower over alcoholism. >> there's going to be investigations, but when john mccain comes out during -- in the middle of when he's supposed to be sitting in on a classified briefing and goes in front of the cameras, he undercuts his side's seriousness about whether they actually want to get to the bottom of this or they want to turn this into a pseudo scandal. it's another solyndra, issue three. high noon. >> every voter out there understood that that was an important debate and the majority of voters agreed with me. by the way, more voters agreed
12:52 pm
with me on this issue than voted for me. >> what issue was that, sir? >> when it comes to the top 2%, what i'm not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don't need it. >> those tax cuts are for people who make more than $250,000 a year. the party's over. december 31 is high noon. bush tax cuts expire at midnight. taxes go back up. taxes had been lowered for a limited time when george w. bush was president, and that time runs out in six weeks. the latest budget put forward by president obama proposes $1.6 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years from corporations and from wealthy americans. that's double what republicans agreed in to closed-door talks last year. >> i don't expect the republicans simply to adopt my
12:53 pm
budget. that's not realistic. so i recognize that we're going to have to compromise. >> well, now republicans are balking. they will not let tax rates go up. but there must be a grand bargain. republicans will support the elimination of certain deductions and tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy. speaker of the house john boehner emphasized that hiking taxes on these wealthy americans will hurt the very people who create the jobs. >> we are not going to hurt our economy and make job creation more difficult, which is exactly what that plan would do. >> barack obama has made his clearest demand since winning reelection. taxes on the wealthiest of american citizens must go up. he says the country could suffer a, quote unquote, rude shock if there is too much stubbornness in congress over his agenda and nothing gets
12:54 pm
done. >> step number one that we can take in the next couple of weeks, provide certainty to middle-class families, 98% of families who make less than $250,000 a year, 97% of small businesses, that their taxes will not go up a single next year. give them that certainty right now. we can get that done. >> question, who will blink first? how will this be resolved? paul. >> both sides have an incentive, even though they're saying the opposite to wait until after the first of the year. after the first of the year the tax rates go back to pre-bush levels. in other words, they go up. that way president gets his tax increase on the wealthy and the re 500 billion right away. so they've got some day, maybe weeks to work something out, and that's what i expect will happen. >> ma may be what happens but my feeling is the jolt to the economy, if all these taxes hit, the payroll taxes, bush tax cuts gone, all the rest of
12:55 pm
it, obama will be in the cat bird seat because then he can offer the middle-class tax cut. but i do think this. president obama is pushing it. the republicans will go along. they say we won't raise race but go ahead and take some of the loopholes, deductions, cap them or cut them, that way you get more revenue from the wealthy. one thing you have to remember, some of these democrats, they say, we won this election, we're not going to let you cut medicare, medicaid, social security, the programs that our party has put together. you are not going to slash those. obama could have as much trouble from his left wing of his democratic party as does he from the right wing of the gop. >> yes, of course. >> heads up from the afl-cio. >> the interest groups are digging in on both sides to he can't allow rses. >> let me squeeze this in. why did obama double the revenue target from 800 billion that he wanted in negotiation weise boehner, in 2011, why did
12:56 pm
he had less access. i think the question is billion than he was looking for before. this gives him a better starting point. i do think that both sides are going to try to work something out before the end of the year because they are all worried about the impact on the economy, not just in jab, but right now while you're watching the stock market and others negatively react to the fact that they are fearing this fiscal cliff. >> he must have known that this 1.6 trillion is a far more realistic number in the objectives. why didn't he mention president obama will nominate susan rice as secretary of state. >> nope, he will back down. >> he won't back down. >> he will back down and not nominate her. >> he will
12:57 pm
12:58 pm
12:59 pm

Mc Laughlin Group
PBS November 17, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PST

News/Business. (2012) New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Benghazi 14, Fbi 9, Susan Rice 6, John 5, Petraeus 4, Cia 4, Paula Broadwell 4, Broadwell 3, Kelley 3, David Petraeus 3, Afghanistan 3, John Mccain 3, Lindsey Graham 2, Letha 2, Ms. Rice 2, Obama 2, Clinton 2, Princeton 2, America 2, Graham 2
Network PBS
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 80 (561 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 11/17/2012